MOORESVILLE, N.C. – official team release — Natalie Richardson photo —
In partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports, Empire Racing Group will debut its late model stock car driver development program this Sunday at the Caraway (N.C.) Speedway.
The two organizations will partner to field one limited late model stock car and one late model stock car at the historic oval. The driver line-up for the program will feature two, young up-and-coming drivers, Thad Moffitt and Dylan Martin.
Moffitt, a 15-year-old native from Randolph County (N.C.), will sport ERG’s No. 46 Ford Mustang in his first-ever limited late model stock car race. Moffitt, the son of Brian and Rebecca Petty-Moffitt and the grandson of Richard Petty, has previous experience racing quarter midgets and in karting at Ace Speedway.
The ERG car will adorn the same style as it has appeared on the historic Richard Petty Motorsports race cars. This will be the first partnership in the late model stock car series for RPM. The car will run the iconic colors of RPM with Transportation Impact and Jacob Construction, Design, and Technology as the primary sponsors.
“Thad is a true rookie this weekend,” said Richard Petty. “This is first time in a heavy stock car with others cars around him during a race. He’s pretty excited and I’m really proud of him. I just hate that I’m going to miss it. We haven’t talked a lot about it. We’re just letting him go out and learn the process and we’ll support him and help him grow. I’ll be in Las Vegas for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, but I’ll be looking for updates from back home.”
Martin will be at the wheel of ERG’s No. 82 Ford Mustang in the Whelen All-American series race at Caraway on Sunday. Martin started racing Midgets at the age of 10 and has a very strong passion for becoming the next star of the sport. He had tried different sports, but behind the wheel is where he is most comfortable.
Martin also realized very quickly in his racing career that the only way to find success was to surround himself with a hardworking and knowledgeable team. The 18-year-old will run his first-ever late model stock car race on Sunday in the 150-lap race. The car will run Blackwater as the primary sponsor.
The team will be led by ERG Crew Chief Michael Cheek, a former Crew Chief at Petty Enterprises in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“I am excited to once again partner with Richard Petty, the Petty family and Richard Petty Motorsports for the 2016 race season,” said Cheek. “We have a lot of great things planned for this season and we’re excited to see where this program will take both drivers and race teams.”